Animal Industry Report

Extension Number

ASL R2949



Summary and Implications

Coproducts of the ethanol industry are a concentrated package of crude protein (CP) which can be fed to beef cows in conjunction with low quality forage to make economical diets that meets nutrient requirements. With this pairing, having excess dietary CP is likely; however the effects of these excessive CP diets on beef cow reproduction have not been made clear. In addition, the effects of excess dietary CP from feedstuffs that differ in rumen degradability are not known. In the present study, we studied the effects of diets containing 150% of metabolizable protein (MP) requirements from a moderately high (corn gluten meal) or low (soybean meal) rumen undegradable protein (RUP) fraction on reproductive function around the time of ovulation. We observed that excess dietary RUP enhanced dominant follicle growth and ovulatory parameters, while excess dietary rumen degradable protein (RDP) improved circulating progesterone concentration post ovulation. Based on these data, source of CP when fed to excess may have differential impacts on reproductive function in mature beef cows. However, the mechanisms by which these physiological alterations occur are unknown at this time. Thus, more research is warranted to elucidate how source and amount of CP, when supplemented in low quality forage-based diets, may influence reproductive function in beef cows.

Copyright Holder

Iowa State University